As the situation in Afghanistan intensifies we must not forget those suffering. At the time of writing we have got nearly 9,000 people out of the area including all solely British passport holders who wished to leave and many of the most vulnerable and their children and on Tuesday the Ministry of Defence reported that nine military aircraft had assisted in this from Kabul in the last 24 hours.
While I have written before about needing a more realistic attitude towards what is possible in the region, we remain committed to doing what we can as a nation to support a stable, peaceful future for Afghanistan and its people and this is needed now as much as ever.
At the end of last week we received data from NHS Test & Trace which shows that mass participation events can be conducted safely, with case numbers largely in line with or below community infection rates throughout the programme. While Covid-19 will be with us indefinitely, data such as these do at least show we are on a workable path back to normal life for most people and can hopefully reassure that we can and should enjoy events as before. I hope this is positive for sports clubs, music festivals and other big events locally that are such an important part of our lives.
I have had an increasing number of people contact me about issues with the DVLA and it does appear that people are waiting longer for this service which is especially important at the moment for the haulage industry. Plans are being set out to help this industry and supply chains but I am also pressing the Government on what is being done to make responses to individuals more timely.
I have also lobbied the Government to get legitimate and recognised foreign vaccines registered on the NHS app. People getting officially recognised vaccines in countries such as the US should not be penalised when looking to travel abroad from this country.
Here in South Somerset we have some of the best health care providers in the country leading the way in integrating health and social care to put the patient at the centre of everything. The Better Care Fund has been increased this year to support this as well as local recovery from Coronavirus and I will continue to push for further funding to support this process. I will also be supporting Yeovil District Hospital’s capital funding bid for new and improved facilities.
Finally, with lots of local people having written to me on the issue the new plans to crack down on puppy smuggling and ban the import of dogs with cropped ears or docked tails are very encouraging. The minimum age for importing a puppy would also be raised from 15 weeks to six months, while a ban on the import of heavily pregnant dogs will protect the welfare of puppies and mothers and I look forward to seeing what more we can do to safeguard the welfare of the thousands of dogs that come into the country every year and encorage more people to seek out responsible breeders and rehoming services here in the UK.
As always, if I can be of help or if you would like to contact me on any of these issues please do call 01935314321 or email firstname.lastname@example.org